WHY YOUR BUDGET IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR STYLE
When I get asked the question “What sets you apart from other designers?” there are a couple of things that come to mind. The first thing is that my background is varied. I’ve furnished model homes, I’ve worked as a designer at a selections center for new homebuyers. I’ve spent almost a decade as an elementary teacher. I’m relatively new to the scene for residential design despite my age. When I started my company just 3 ½ short years ago, I really spent some time considering my life values, my work/life balance goals, and what I had to offer potential clients. One thing kept ringing true and still to this day is what I’ve hinged my entire business model on…and it’s this: I truly believe that everyone deserves a beautiful and functional home, despite their income level.
The largest demographic in our area is middle-income families. It’s the demographic I fit into myself. I realized at Sleek to Chic’s beginning that the bulk of the interior design community is geared to wealthier families in some of the most affluent areas of our country. I mean….think about it. What stereotypes pop into your mind when you hear “I hired a designer?” Maybe something along the lines of this meme? (Image from Pinterest, meme does not belong to me.)
If one of my core values was that everyone deserves a beautiful home, then there had to be a way to meet that HUGE demographic and still maintain a profitable business. I’ve learned how to make that happen, but it is a fluid learning curve. In fact, I’m still learning, each and every day.
When you book an initial consultation with me, some of the information I bring to that meeting involves a discussion of the budget for the project. I even provide you with spreadsheets and tools to get you started on the budget portion of your homework. If you tell me you do not have a budget, that tells me nothing. I can’t work that way, and I know the funds are not limitless, so truth be told…you DO have a budget. You just need some help determining the wisest way to invest your money. As your designer, it is my job to help you form that budget based on your maximum spend amount. I can help you break down each room and determine which level of sourcing your project will require.
I’m proud that one of the projects I completed recently was completed on a budget. Her funds stopped at a certain point, and it was a rather tight budget. I knew going into this project that meeting that budget could prove to be difficult. But I was able to exceed her expectations by not only meeting the budget for the furnishings, but also for the design fees. But I could not have gotten her 5-star review and made her happy with her home if it weren’t for her specific budget she prepared for me. Take a look at the outcome of the perfect collaboration between designer and client!
As long as the budget is realistic and the client has truly done some research and digging around to see how much furniture and décor is going for, then I really can design at any price point! Now that I’ve been doing this a while, I really have a great sense of how to make that happen. Sometimes you have to be willing to think outside the box, get creative with certain solutions, and even be willing to take a chance on certain items. But this project was one of the most fun to date. Her implicit trust in my vision, the mutual designer/client respect never wavered, and her budget was met. To say it was a match made in heaven would make it seem a tad cheesy….but truly, this project was a blast!
I will continue to serve my clients and guide them well, no matter their investment amount. I’m grateful for each and every client, and am so thankful that I get to do this job I love day in and day out. I am truly living my dream! Helping you create a dream home is MY dream!